327/308 Wattle St, Ultimo, New South Wales 2007

Make this your new approach to fitness in 2018

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Make this your new approach to fitness in 2018

Have you ever felt guilty for ‘not going hard’ during a workout? Do you beat yourself up if you aren’t red-faced and gasping after a class? Is your philosophy go big or go home?

If so, you may be labouring under a false ideal.

The media and fitness industry would have us believe that better results come from training harder. There’s no room for small steps, gentle movements or the long game - instead, our collective mindset favours intensity and immediate gratification.

It’s no surprise. Intense training and extreme dieting are easy to measure. They look great on paper and are psychologically satisfying, too. We feel tired (must be burning calories!), hungry (must be burning fat!) and virtuous (must be that 10km run!).

Sure, they work.

Bootcamps and new-year crash diets produce results in the short term. We’ve all had the experience of dropping fat and toning up quick-smart when taking exercise and healthy eating to the extreme.

But the problem with extremes is that there’s always a swing back.

All that energy you put into pushing yourself eventually runs out and the pendulum swings the other way. This is why ‘falling off the wagon’ and rebound weight gain exist - they’re the product of unsustainable habits.

We’ve all been there, but only some people are brave enough to try the alternative.


Choosing consistency over motivation feels scary because we’re told that unless it’s hard, unless it hurts, unless you’re fighting … it’s not enough.

But we’re here to assure you, consistency is the tortoise who eventually wins the race.

Think about how long you’ve spent battling the same 10kg? The highs and lows of diets that leave you feeling dissatisfied?

If you add up the time spent gaining, losing, being ‘good’ and falling dramatically into a dietary heap yet again, we bet it’s a while. Years? Decades? It certainly creeps up on you.

Today we want to encourage you to relax a little. Try a slower, more sensible, more fun approach - and show up everyday because you want to. We guarantee it’llyield far better results in the long run.

Make habits, not heroic attempts.

Habits are what keep you brushing your teeth, and what carry you automatically to the gym. They’re not very sexy, but they work.

Here’s some maths to put habit formation into perspective.

Cementing a new habit realistically takes 60 to 90 days (not just 30 like everyone says) - taking into account you practise every single day.

So, if you’re new to exercise and train twice per week, expect to stick at it for 45 weeks (or 10 months) before it becomes an unconscious part of your lifestyle.

Yet the average newbie lasts just six weeks in the gym, about the time it takes for their rocket-fueled motivation to run dry.

And there’s one more reason to take it slow and steady.

By training consistently rather than aggressively, you avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the body - which may lead to injury and halt progress altogether.

Giving connective tissue and joints sufficient time to recover after training is extremely important, as they naturally have reduced blood flow and take 7-10 times longer than muscle to heal.

A bung knee from overtraining is no joke.

Putting it all together?

Make this the year of bravely letting go of motivation.

Instead, commit to consistency.

Show up, even if you don’t ‘smash yourself’ (pssst: you don’t need to).

Manage your expectations by understanding that habits take time - perhaps longer than you imagined - but cementing them will serve you for life.

Be skeptical of fads or fitness trends that promise quick results with extreme measures. Know they’re more trouble than they’re worth.

Respect your body and its limits. It’s better to train smart and protect your muscles, joints and ligaments than push it and do a lifelong injury.

And finally, find a lifestyle you love. Movement that energizes you, slowly but surely building a strong, aligned body. Practise it alongside fun and friendly people. Eat whole, tasty food that’s not ‘diet’ - but deliciously nourishing. Connect with nature.

Remember, consistency and commitment trump motivation. Want to put them into practise? Come along to Enliven for a free trial and experience true holistic training. Get in touch today.


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